Chicken Soup for the Content Marketer’s Soul

By Erin Moloney

Last night, my children helped me cook a whole chicken in preparation for a soup dinner. First, we boiled the chicken on a low simmer. After letting it cool, we checked to make sure it was done, and upon the thumbs up, proceeded to pull the meat off for our soup and other meals throughout the week. Around that time, I realized my work method had bubbled into my home and kitchen.

I was handling that bird as content. 

Simma Down Now

You remember Cheri Oteri’s Saturday Night Live character, Nadeen, right? Her adamant prompts for inquisitive sketch mates to “Simma Down Now!” forever cast the name “Donna Summer” and the word “simma” into pop culture hilarity.

Fresh content needs time to simmer! When you see an early draft of good content – content that stands out with thought-provoking language, provides the audience with useful insight or speaks in a palatably poignant way – that’s your cue to let it Simma Down! Review it, refine it and condense it. Do all of the editing you need to do until it’s perfect. Let it rest for a while. And then go back and edit some more. Once you’ve thoroughly proofread, your content “stock” should be near ready.

Work It

Like many of you, my family leads a busy life where schedule Tetrising is our norm, so when we go to the effort of boiling a whole chicken, that chicken is going to work for us. We cook it once, then eat it everywhere in soups, tacos and even use the bones to make a delicious, immune-boosting broth. Mmmm.

The same can be true for content marketing. While somewhat of a debate exists between COPE (e.g. Create Once Publish Everywhere) vs. COPS (e.g. Create Once Publish Selectively), no matter the approach, in the end, good copy speaks volumes. So make that content work for you! It’s not uncommon for us to repurpose universally themed content (or parts of it) on a white paper, internal newsletter, information sheet, web page, news release and blog. Most research suggests that multiple points of exposure is key in communicating your call to action. So we COPE whenever possible (and have a good time using coping puns in the marketing department). However, we’re not absolutists. Not every piece of content is relevant to all of our channels, so we deploy COPS on a case-by-case basis (e.g. an article in our newsletter about our company’s virtual exhibit in the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum probably wouldn’t make for a good white paper, but it translates nicely to a news release).

Let Your Content Fly

Getting the right message to the right consumer at the right time is our collective marketers’ challenge. Content is one of our main tools in creating effective communications, and where we use it can help boost our reach in meaningful ways. So take that good content and let it fly! Just be sure to release it in ways that make sense for your organization and your customers. 

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